19 June 2015

President Aquino leads special Cabinet meeting to review first semester performance
President Benigno S. Aquino III led a special Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Thursday to review the Cabinet’s performance for the first semester of the year, aiming to accelerate the implementation of all priority development and reform programs.

“Inatasan niya and mga kalihim na pag-ibayuhin at pagbutihin ang paghahatid ng serbisyo publiko,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said.

According to the Cabinet Secretary’s Office, since Thursday’s meeting was a special, and not a regular, Cabinet meeting, not all Cabinet members were required to attend.

Among those who presented their reports were Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Health Secretary Janette Garin, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Francis Pangilinan, and National Housing Authority General Manager Chito Cruz, who was asked to present an update on the housing reconstruction efforts in Eastern Visayas, which was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, as well as other housing projects.

President Aquino approved in October last year the P167.9-billion Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), solidifying the government’s commitment to rebuild areas in Eastern Visayas devastated by the super typhoon.

The amount will be used to restore infrastructure, settlements and basic community facilities, livelihood and the resilience of vulnerable communities. PND (as)

Malacañang welcomes increase in President Aquino’s satisfaction rating
The Palace on Friday welcomed the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey result showing a 10 percent increase in the satisfaction rating of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

“President Aquino is gratified that our Bosses, the Filipino people, recognize the efforts of his administration to improve the delivery of public services and continue implementing vital reforms, so that the fruits of good governance may be sustained and made permanent,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement.

“We will intensify efforts to accelerate the development of public infrastructure, broaden social protection, and strengthen public institutions so that the ultimate objective of achieving long-term inclusive growth may be attained.”

In a separate statement, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte noted that President Aquino’s approval ratings remain historically high, compared to the same period of previous administrations.

The recent SWS survey shows the public’s confidence in the President’s pro-poor and anti-corruption agenda, Valte said.

“Indeed, inclusive growth remains at the front and center of the Aquino administration. This commitment has translated into concrete benefits for our citizens, including improvements in education and employment,” she said.

Valte added with more than a year to go, the President will continue to build on the country’s recent successes and propel the nation toward even greater heights.

In the SWS survey, conducted from June 5 to 8 among 1,200 respondents nationwide, the President’s satisfaction rating jumped 10 percentage points to 57 percent this month from 47 percent in March.

The survey also showed that the number of dissatisfied Filipinos dropped to 27 percent from 36 percent in March, while the number of those undecided went down to 15 percent from 17 percent in March, resulting in a net satisfaction rating of “good” +30.

The result is a significant improvement from the “moderate” +11 rating the President received last March. PND (as)

President Aquino appoints lawyer Florin Hilbay as Solicitor General
President Benigno S. Aquino III appointed on June 16 lawyer Florin Hilbay as Solicitor General of the Office of the Solicitor General under the Department of Justice.

Hilbay has been serving as acting Solicitor General, since he replaced Francis Jardeleza, who was designated Associate Justice of the Supreme Court last year.

A professor at the University of the Philippines (UP), Hilbay was senior state solicitor when he defended the Reproductive Health Law before the Supreme Court in 2013.

Among the cases he had handled are those on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and the Bangsamoro.

Hilbay has also served as director of the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the UP Law Center, and as vice chairman of Bantay Katarungan.

He received his degree in Economics from the University of Santo Tomas in 1995 and his law degree from UP in 1999. He topped the 1999 Bar Exams.

Hilbay obtained his Master of Laws degree from the Yale Law School in 2005. PND (as)